The NextLabs Hidden Data Removal solution enables businesses to:
- Prevent data loss resulting from hidden fields within documents. Proactively inspect, warn user of, and remove sensitive hidden data stored as document metadata, hidden spreadsheet columns, revision history, and comments.
- Exercise granular policy control. Precisely determine what, when, where, how, and with whom documents with hidden data require inspection.
- Self-remediate data loss before it occurs. Prompt users to remove hidden data or allow for an exception with interactive Policy Assistants to guide and educate users.
- Monitor and track user compliance. Fully audit all document disclosure that contains hidden data to understand compliance goals, close gaps, and track exceptions.
Proactively Inspect, Warn User of, and Remove Sensitive Hidden Data
Hidden data within documents, such as metadata, revision history, comments, or hidden spreadsheet columns, can include your organization's most confidential information, or other data that is inappropriate for sharing with a wider audience. Common examples of costly disclosure via hidden data include:
- An HR spreadsheet sent to all managers with employee salaries in a hidden column.
- A draft proposal document sent to a customer with revisions and comments regarding negotiation tactics.
- A slide presentation that discloses other clients with whom you have had conversations previously.
While many companies have polices encouraging users to cleanse documents before disclosing them outside of a trusted team, internally, or outside the organization, it is easy for end users to forget to perform the series of manual steps required to comply. A proactive solution that simplifies compliance for end users can identify hidden data before information is disclosed, allow document users to take appropriate actions, and provide full auditing to gain visibility across the enterprise to identify and control risks.
The Hidden Data Removal solution applies an identity-driven, policy-based approach to determine what documents contain hidden data, and based on who the document is sent to, whether or not to automate hidden data detection and removal. When appropriate, as determined by policy, users are prompted to cleanse the hidden data or allow an exception. And unlike network-based solutions that simply block at the network gateway, the Hidden Data Removal solution interacts with users in real time, allowing them to self-remediate before improper distribution occurs, inside or outside of the physical network.
The solution is enabled by fine-grained policies that determine when users try to disclose documents with hidden data to improper recipients. If violations occur, Policy Assistants provide self-guided workflow that enables users to remediate errors quickly or allow for exception cases, without disrupting productivity or requiring additional IT overhead. This highly scalable solution consists of the following:
- Identity-Driven Policy Controls. The Hidden Data Removal solution integrates transparently at the desktop to identify when, where, and how specific users are warned about hidden data in documents.
- Proactive Remediation without Costly Administrator Intervention. When the risk of a policy violation occurs, users are automatically prompted to take action to fix the error, in real time, with all activity logged for central auditing. IT administrators are not required to understand each user's intent or authorized recipients, or to intervene at all.
- Automated Workflow to Reduce Risks. Pre-built Policy Assistants integrate transparently at the desktop to educate users about potential policy violations, highlight the hidden data disclosure error, and provide a course of action that prevents data loss, without slowing down productivity.
Companies can now confidently prevent inappropriate disclosure of confidential documents that can lead to data loss, damage business integrity, and compromise client confidence.
Hidden Data Removal Applications
The solution is pre-built with policy objects and components included. Policy sets can be easily customized to the environment or used as templates to create new policies. Examples include:
- Cleanse documents of hidden data when disclosed externally to clients.
- When analyst research is published, prompt the author to remove hidden data.
- Log when ever files containing hidden data are disclosed outside the company as exception cases.
Aerospace & Defense
- When ever a user attempts to disclose an ITAR-controlled technical document, prompt him or her to cleanse hidden data.
- Prompt users to cleanse hidden data when disclosed internally or to supply chain partners and subcontractors.
- Monitor attempted disclosure of documents containing hidden data for compliance auditing.
Design and Manufacturing
- Initiate approval procedures when ever a user tries to disclose documents with hidden data to unknown recipients.
- Allow contractors to disclose documents containing hidden data only to recipients within the company domain.
- Prevent hidden data in a client's project documents from being disclosed outside that client's project team.